Meet 2020 Maine Lobster Festival Poster Artist, Scott Hewett
It takes a sharp-eyed artist to get the colors of a lobster absolutely correct, as we know from our past blog “The Rarest Color of Lobsters.” The natural pigments in live crustaceans can be found in every spectrum of the rainbow.
Long Island artist Scott Hewett was Maine Lobster Festival’s 2020 poster artist and he certainly captured the colors in his artwork, while his wife, Diane, did the graphic design. Hewett, an artist/illustrator whose art encompasses farms, wooded areas, the coast and harbors, was naturally drawn to lobster as subject matter.
MLF: How did you get connected with the Maine Lobster Festival?
Hewett: I happened to make this piece well before the Maine Lobster Festival. It’s a fairly large painting, 30 x 48 inches. [See the original painting here.] I’ve done a series of lobster paintings and my mother actually told me about the poster contest and prompted me to enter. I was so happy that my artwork was chosen!
MLF: So, before this particular lobster became the MLF poster, this painting had some notoriety?
Hewett: Yes, I’ve had the painting in a couple of art shows and have gotten good reception from that piece in particular. It’s very textural- to see it in person helps to get the full effect.
MLF: What was the inspiration behind how colorful it is?
Hewett: I was doing a series of sea life, then decided to do a lobster. So I went to the store and bought a live lobster, set it outside in the sun and then took some high-contrast photographs of it. Then I just started doing paintings from the photos. This one was so colorful it was almost abstract. If you look at certain parts of the lobster, there are all of these little narratives going on. Note- this lobster did not go to waste and made a fine dinner!
MLF: Have you ever been to Maine?
Hewett: I’m originally from New England and I know the area; I go fly fishing up in Millinocket.
MLF: What else do you paint besides lobsters?
Hewett: Currently, I’m working on a series of sunsets –the more colorful the better! I’m also doing a lot of “pop realism” – large pieces of old-fashioned candy, such as Hershey Kisses with a lot of texture and color. I paint a lot of local scenes as well as old trucks and gas pumps. What I’ll do is zone in on one aspect. For instance, when I paint an old headlight there’s a whole lot of light play going on with the globe and the glass and reflections - a challenge that I love translating to paint and canvas.
MLF: So, it sounds as though you are drawn to everyday, mundane objects and you tend to find an inner world in them.
Hewett: That’s correct; I see beyond the mundane to bring out these almost imaginary colors. When they start to formulate, they make the subject matter really pop (hence the term “pop realism”).
MLF: In the crusher claw of your lobster, it almost looks like the reflection of a camera flash, how did you do that?
Hewett: I put a heavy amount of paint on that detail and smeared it just right so it comes off as a convincing area of highlight. I like to enhance the highlights of an object – it helps the object pop and look more lifelike.
The 2020 Maine Lobster Festival will be held July 29- August 2 at Harbor Park in Rockland. For more fun and interesting facts about lobsters, visit our Maine Lobster Festival blog.